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3 Things Not to Do with Your 280 Twitter Characters

Recently, Twitter expanded its character limit from 140 to 280. There has been a lot of mixed reactions to this change with both sides citing both the pros and cons. Overall, I think users will find that it is a positive experience, but there are some things to watch out for!

  1. Don’t use the expansion to sell, sell, sell.
    Users are looking for an experience overall, and that is not going to change. Don’t use the extra 140 characters to promote your “buy me” products and services. Instead, use that extra space to educate, inspire and motivate your followers. Remember the goal of social media marketing is establishing a relationship with your followers. And now you have 140 extra characters to nurture that relationship.
  2. Don’t use the extra space entirely for hashtags.
    Yes, hashtags are a fantastic tool and we at SMM love them! But, there is a thing as too much and too many. #noone #wants #to #read #a #sentence #like #this #that #drags #on #and #on #and #on @socialmediaetiquette.

    You get the idea, strategically place your hashtags and tags and put some thought into them.

  3. Craft your message thoughtfully.
    This isn’t just a Twitter suggestion. This goes for all your social media. Think about the message you want to put out to your consumers. If you are sharing an educational blog or article, what is the main thing you want them to take away? Use that as your description and craft appropriate hashtags to reach a specific audience. All too often, social media becomes something you “have to do” and messages are put out haphazardly. Remember that EVERYTHING your company name is attached to reflects your business. Even something as simple as a Tweet can have a negative impact.

What are some of your Twitter pet peeves? What are some of the things that drive you crazy? Share your stories below!

5 Tips to Effectively Run Your Business Instagram Account

Marketing on various social media platforms and making content fresh and interesting for your followers can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you maintain your Instagram account.

Be Creative!

Creativity and capturing amazing photos is the name of the game on Instagram. They have some great filters that you can apply to give a different light to the photo. Show your customers what it is that you do in a way that is unique to you. Give them some “behind-the-scenes” photos that are unique only to your Instagram account. Let the photographer in you be creative!

Boomerang

Video marketing is HUGE right now! Many consumers want you to SHOW them what you do, not tell them. Boomerang is a great application you can use to create short video clips that play on a loop. It’s a fun way to give your audience a small snippet of video coverage and do it in a fun way.

Hashtags

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we are fans of hashtags. Instagram users have embraced the way that a hashtag is meant to be used. You can implement this into your marketing. Does your business have their own unique hashtag set up? Why not? Write one! Then use a couple broad hashtags to reach a larger audience and a few local hashtags to reach an audience closer to where you do business. This will help you gain followers quicker and help bring more business through your doors.

Tag Your Employees and Other Businesses/People

Are you posting a photo that has a photo of an employee who has a personal Instagram account? You can tag them in the post (with permission, of course!). You can tag companies that you work with, products that you use in your products, etc. It can give the consumer a glimpse into what life looks like for your business.

Offer Exclusive Content

This is important for any social media network that you use to promote your business. One way you can do this is set specials up for specific networks. Offer a 10% discount on Instagram for example. Or you can make your Instagram account solely behind-the-scenes and how we do things content. There are ways to make each network unique and give your followers choices on how they interact with you over various platforms.

Should My Business Market on Snapchat?

The answer to that is, it depends on who you are marketing to and if they use the network. If you are a retirement advisor looking to reach a target market of 55+, the answer is no. However, if you have a new tech gadget you are launching then ABSOLUTELY!

As of August 12, 2017, there are 173 million daily ACTIVE users of Snapchat. This number has surpassed Instagram use in the under age 25 category. The staggering usage numbers don’t stop at age 25 either. 71% of users are under 34 years old and 70% of them are female.

This warrants a discussion on your target market. Who exactly are you looking to sell your product to? What are their interests? What do they like to do? What social media networks do they prefer? You have to know your customer, first and foremost. It will do you no good to market an age-specific product or service on a network that your consumer isn’t participating on.

Do you have that information solidified? Do you really know your audience? If you are struggling with that knowledge and aren’t quite sure, Social Media Maiden can help! We can help you identify exactly who your audience is and where you should be focusing your online marketing efforts. We can help save you time and money by getting you set up exactly where to need to be right away.

We have an intake questionnaire we use for our consulting clients that can be found at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfTKUUpEePcfnui_XfGiklvJHzWMji-_FhtGKhwkm2cPboarw/viewform. This information helps us to gather information about your business and helps us to direct you to your audience.

To learn more about the statistics and user information on Snapchat, please visit https://www.omnicoreagency.com/snapchat-statistics/. There is a lot of information that you can use to help you decide if Snapchat is one of the right social media networks for your business.

The Importance of Consistency in Social Media Marketing

One of the crucial aspects of social media marketing that often gets pushed aside when time is limited is making sure that you get your marketing out to the public. It’s so easy to get caught up helping clients and doing your job that your marketing can take a backseat. But, your marketing shouldn’t ever be on the back burner or the never-ending to-do list, even if your business is thriving.

Your online presence needs to show consistency in today’s marketing. Consumers are no longer looking you up in the static Yellow Pages and finding your beautiful ad that you put together last year. Word of mouth and recommendations online are how most businesses are gaining new clients. Once a consumer gets your name, they are going to check out your website and your social media sites. If you don’t have updated statuses and information on your page, the consumer will wonder if you are serious about your business.

Now, all of this isn’t to say that you must be on your profiles updating three times a day – but there needs to be fresh content that is only a couple days old at maximum. It is vital in today’s market to be on top of your social media sites. These are the first impressions that many consumers receive about your business and just like your in-person marketing efforts, you have to put your best foot forward.

Once you set up your marketing schedule, maintaining that schedule is crucial. If you need help maintaining it all, look to see if there is an employee or a social media marketing firm that can help. Your business will thank you in the long run!

New Features in Facebook Groups

During the discovery that Facebook is going to be using a separate newsfeed for business page posts, there was another announcement that got lost in the shockwave. Have you heard about the new features available for your Facebook groups? Here are some cool new features to help you manage your groups more efficiently.

Welcome Posts
Many admins like to publicly welcome new members to the group and this feature just made it A LOT easier! Admins can now write the welcome post and new members will automatically be tagged. How cool is that?!

Badges
Who doesn’t like having a badge? This new feature allows users to easily recognize who the members of the group are, new members and admins.

Member Profiles
This is a new feature that allows you to learn more about fellow group members. This is a new profile view that shows you what you have in common and a list of their posts in the group. It’s a way to encourage building relationships between members!

New Controls for Admins
These are some awesome additions! The Group Insights tool has been enhanced so that it is easy to schedule posts to go out when the most members are engaged in the group (can we get that feature on our business pages, please?!), and more control for admins to manage member comments. Admins can now temporarily turn off a member’s ability to comment and post into the group which gives the admin time to address an issue with a member instead of just removing them from the group. There is also a new feature that will remove a member from all groups you manage in one click.

These are some great enhancements that Facebook implemented from the Communities Summit earlier this year. I think we will see a spike in activity from our groups due to the possible changes in how our business posts from pages go into a separate newsfeed. I foresee groups becoming a more popular and effective way to reach your audience.

For more information on these features, check out Facebook’s Newsroom at https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/10/new-features-for-groups-to-build-communities/.

How will you implement these exciting changes into your groups?

What Can We Do About The Facebook Explore Newsfeed?

Facebook broke the internet this week with the discovery that they are testing a separate newsfeed in several countries to see how the users react. To be clear, this is only a test now and a worldwide launch has not been announced.

The goal of this change is to see more of your family and friends posts before you see posts from businesses. I fully support that, and I would love to see more of what my friends are up to instead of business advertisements, but as a small business owner, I understand the impact this can have on our marketing. So, the question is, what can we do about it?

Paid Advertising
I think we have found that the days of free marketing on Facebook are gone. For the past few years, Facebook has been encouraging business to pay to have their posts reach more people. If this test becomes reality, we will have to pay to be in the main newsfeed period. Luckily, paid advertising on Facebook is affordable, but it’s another line item in our marketing budget we need to account for.

Facebook Groups
Did you know that Business Pages can now sponsor Facebook Groups? It doesn’t appear like group posts will be affected by the Explore newsfeed, so reaching your audience in the newsfeed is still possible there. Many groups get more engagement than pages and members tend to check groups more frequently. Have you considered setting up a group for your business?

Be Followed
There is a feature that allows people who like your page to get updates in their newsfeed from your business first or to get notifications when the latest content is posted to the page. You can encourage your followers to use this tool (screenshot on how to below) and they will be notified of your posts.

These are just a few suggestions that we can work on implementing. I wouldn’t do anything too drastic until Facebook makes the announcement that they are rolling out this new feature worldwide. But, even if Facebook hears our pleas to stop the madness, these are good practices you can still implement!

Engagement – YES, It’s That Important!

We have been focusing a lot on engagement in the past couple weeks. I feel like this is a great lesson and it’s a question that comes up with our clients all the time.

Folks, your social media success does not rest solely on how many awesome people like your accounts! You can have a billion followers, but if no one is reading your posts or interacting with you – you have zero engagement. And what was the point of building that huge following? The best thing is to provide engaging content and see your numbers increase from there.

Engaging content is a term that is much easier said that implemented successfully. Here are some tips to help when you feel stuck!

  1. Give industry news to your audience they will find useful.
  2. Give them tips on how to succeed at something
  3. Give them a personal introduction and share a little information about who you are. Ask them to do the same
  4. Post encouraging and positive quotes. Positive posts get more shares and interaction than negative ones
  5. Fill-in-the-blank posts. Allow your audience to express their creativity!
  6. A photo or video of your office, desk or wherever you are working from
  7. Start a conversation. Give your personal take on an issue and ask your community their thoughts
  8. Uncommon ideas. This is an awesome way to show you are a thought leader in your industry
  9. Post photos of your family members or pets
  10. Post personal recommendations for your favorite products or services

These are just a few to help you get started. We also have some others in past blog posts, so feel free to check those out as well!

If you are struggling with creating engaging content and need some help, Social Media Maiden is here to help!

Engaging Your Audience

Engagement is where you need to be concentrating when it comes to your social media. You can have millions of followers, but if they aren’t paying attention to what you are saying and reacting, it only hurts your social media footprint. Focus on content that your followers will love and engage with and don’t worry so much about the number of followers you have on your platforms. Here are some fun ways to engage your audience!

Contests and sweepstakes are a great way to grow your audience
People LOVE to get free stuff! Throw up a fun contest or sweepstakes and watch your audience grow. Be sure to continue to do fun things to keep your new audience members engaged. Consistency is vital in online marketing!

Do a Caption-A-Photo contest
These are a lot of fun! If you run across a fun photo from your industry that would be perfect to be the next viral meme – post it on social media and ask for captions! You can even take it one step further and create the meme with the caption and tag the person who came up with it.

Make predictions about your industry. Prediction posts are always popular and will help you establish your reputation as an expert
Chances are you know your industry very well. Use that expertise to predict some changes that might be in works or things you think will happen. Even if your predictions don’t end up happening, it shows your audience that you are thinking long-term and that is very comforting to a consumer!

Post an audio clip
If you are still intimidated by video posts (which is perfectly acceptable!) you can always opt for an audio post. Give a little tidbit of information and let your customers hear your voice!

Talk about current events on your sites and ask your followers what their thoughts are about the issue
Talking about things that are currently going on in your industry is a terrific way to highlight yourself as an expert! It imparts knowledge that your clients need and it will show them how valuable of a resource you are.

Share your thoughts from a conference or event
Take advantage of the high you always feel after attending an amazing conference in your field and post a blog or a video about what you have learned and things that you think your audience would get excited about. You got into your industry for a reason and show your customers just how much passion you have for it!

Talk about common myths in your industry and explain them
The world is full of misconceptions and you are the perfect person to explain ones about your industry. Impart valuable knowledge to your followers!

If you need help setting up a plan to increase your engagement, Social Media Maiden is here to help! We offer consulting and management plan options that fit into any marketing budget.

How to Set Up a Cover Video on Facebook

Have you seen the new cover videos that pages can use on Facebook yet? We’ve watched several company’s roll theirs out and there is some very creative content out there!

If you would like to use a video for the cover on your brand’s Facebook page, here is how you do it!

Disclaimer: One thing to keep in mind as you are building your video is that just like a regular cover photo, these are open to the public and anyone can see them!

Step 1: Click on the Camera icon that shows up in the upper left-hand corner of your cover photo

Step 2: Select to either Upload Photo/Video or to Choose From Videos on your timeline

Step 3: If you Upload Photo/Video select content from your computer to upload. Videos should be at least 820 x 312 pixels and between 20 and 90 seconds. For best results, use a video that is 820 x 456 pixels!

Step 4: Once the video has been uploaded, you can position the video to make any aesthetic adjustments for optimal viewing.

Step 5: Now select up to 10 thumbnail options for your video. These are used when someone hovers their cursor over your page name to find out more about you.

Step 6: Select Publish and Enjoy!

What are your favorite brands that are using cover videos on their pages? Here is one our favorites!

 

Using Blog Posts to Make Video Content

Videos have become an extremely trendy way to get content to your audience. Your audience is more likely to tune in for a live video feed or to stop to watch a short video than they are to read a few paragraphs. There is so much information that gets relayed to us through our social media feeds that we’ve had to find more visual ways to reach our audiences. Video provides content for both your visual and audio learners to indulge in.

Coming up with content for your videos can seem like a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to be. If you are blogging, then you have your content! You can break down a blog into a small video series of a few minutes a piece and you have content for the rest of the week.

Have you used videos in your marketing plan? How do you interact with brands that effectively use video marketing? How do you interact with those that don’t?

Social Media Maiden would love to hear your feedback on how you use video marketing in your marketing plan. Let us know in the comments below!